Monday, July 13, 2009

Sketch: Resort at Punta Ixtapa

This is another masterwork by Diego Villaseñor. This is at a resort in Punta Ixtapa, Mexico (click it to see a larger image), which will almost certainly be our next vacation once I am a millionare. The reason I chose this scene is because Villaseñor shows here an amazing command of simple geometric shapes, shadow, and natural elements. My mind isn't forced to comprehend anything except the view and how nice a dip in that pool would feel right about now. Just looking at this photo makes me feel more relaxed. His counters are present, such as the clay pot in the arched window, but they are subdued, and appear to belong there naturally as part of the context, rather than something contrived to simply be "different" for the sake of being different.

Anyway, here's my humble attempt at sketching his work. (click to see a larger image)

I'm learned a few more interesting things while sketching this. One is how to vary my soft, medium, and hard shadows a bit more. Another is that when you view a ceiling fan, one side will look fat, the other will look skinny, because of the angle of the blades. I never quite realized it before though in retrospect I have no idea how I could have missed it. While sketching, I spent a good deal of time wondering what was in the basket. Soap? Rocks? Bread? I eventually decided that it must be very tightly rolled towels. Considering the pool and the deck chair, that's the most logical choice.

The coup de grace, however, is the tree trunk on the left. The more I thought about it, the more brilliant it became. It is ironic, because it is a softer shape than the architecture, yet it is a dead tree. The curves and verticals beautifully transition from the floor, up the stairs towards the pool and arched window. The very idea of the dried out, dead tree makes me long for a dip in the pool. But the most brilliant part of the whole thing, that I only just now figured out is that it also acts as a convenient towel or robe rack.

Lastly, this sketch was actually one of the most challenging yet. My sketches are supposed to be freehand, so I can't use a ruler to do my straight lines with. Getting relatively straight, parallel lines, or lines at the proper angles, took many, many tries. And no project is complete without at least one mistake. While scanning this in, apparently the corner got folded up in the flatbed, which explains the white square in the lower right. All in all though, I rather like this sketch, but I love the scene.


  1. I recently came accross your blog and have been reading along. I thought I would leave my first comment. I dont know what to say except that I have enjoyed reading. Nice blog. I will keep visiting this blog very often.


  2. hey I like your sketch.. Great Work! I am just trying to recall my memory, as I think I have visited that place in Mexico , can you please let me know where is this resort?


  3. This place is called Punta Ixtapa, everything is just perfect I am the neighbor in the upper floor. Paradise!


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